Henry Cejudo, a former UFC bantamweight champion and Olympic gold medalist, has returned from retirement, not only to reclaim his title but also to make his mark in UFC history. Cejudo plans to defeat Aljamain Sterling in UFC 288 and then defend his title against Sean O’Malley.
Cejudo hopes to become the first-ever three-division champion in UFC history. Despite his three years away from the sport, Cejudo is confident that he can achieve his goal by taking on substandard talent that is getting touted as the best in the world.
“I love the challenge,” Cejudo said. He believes he faces a tougher challenge than any other past champion coming back from a similarly long layoff. Cejudo has no intention of taking another lengthy break and is looking to accomplish his goals in a timely manner.
O’Malley has already been named the next No. 1 contender at bantamweight, and Cejudo is eager to face him soon. He also wants to face featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski and is determined to challenge him in his own backyard.
Cejudo knows that O’Malley is arguably the highest profile fight for anyone in the bantamweight division right now, thanks to his popularity and drawing power. He wants to give Volkanovski his undivided attention after taking care of O’Malley.
“First things first,” Cejudo said. “I see (Sterling) as a tune-up fight. I see him and O’Malley as a tune-up fight. I want that featherweight strap. You may not like my personality, you may not like the persona, you may not like the cringe, but you will definitely respect me and put me on GOAT mountain. After a three-year retirement, what Jones has done, what (Georges) St-Pierre has done, that’s Mount Olympus. Not only am I looking to beat Aljamain Sterling, but I’m looking to dominate him. He ain’t going past three rounds.”